The Excel 2016 Formula Bar - dummies

By Ken Bluttman

Taken together, the Formula Box and the Name Box make up the Formula Bar in Excel 2016. You use the Formula Bar quite a bit as you work with formulas and functions.

The Formula Box is used to enter and edit formulas. The Formula Box is the long entry box that starts in the middle of the bar. When you enter a formula into this box, you can click the little check-mark button to finish the entry. The check-mark button is visible only when you are entering a formula. Pressing the Enter key also completes your entry; clicking the X cancels the entry.

An alternative is to enter a formula directly into a cell. The Formula Box displays the formula as it is being entered into the cell. When you want to see just the contents of a cell that has a formula, make that cell active and look at its contents in the Formula Box. Cells that have formulas do not normally display the formula, but instead display the result of the formula.

When you want to see the actual formula, the Formula Box is the place to do it. The Name Box, on the left side of the Formula Bar, is used to select named areas in the workbook.